man at post office
Eric Risberg  /  AP
Philo Barnwell, 75, who was born in Bridgeville Calif., is seen at the post office while looking out at what is left of the small town in this file photo from Dec. 18, 2002.
By AP Technology Writer
updated 4/5/2006 8:46:27 PM ET 2006-04-06T00:46:27

The owner of a picturesque northern California town is accepting bids on online auctioneer eBay, nearly two years after purchasing the hamlet.

Bridgeville, with a population of about 18, was first put up for sale on eBay in 2002, but the winning bidder backed out of the deal after discovering that many of the buildings were falling apart and that garbage was strewn over much of the town's 83 acres.

"I spent a lot of money and a lot of effort cleaning it up," said Bruce Krall, the Orange County commercial mortgage banker who owns the parcel now.

Bidding starts at $1.75 million.

The town, which was once a hub for a local stagecoach route and a stop on the Pony Express, includes eight houses, a post office, and a cafe, Krall said. A school serving students from kindergarten to eighth grade as well as a fire station are nearby, but they aren't part of the property up for sale.

Bridgeville wouldn't be the first unusual item to go up for bidding on eBay.

In 2004, a Florida woman used the online auction house to sell for $28,000 a grilled-cheese sandwich that purportedly had the image of the Virgin Mary on it. That same year, a woman from Indiana charged $65,000 for a metal walking cane she said her 6-year-old son believed contained the ghost of his grandfather.

Krall said he's received e-mails and phone calls from as far away as China, the United Kingdom and Germany inquiring about the sale.

"The world has a fascination with being able to buy a town," Krall said. "You can come in and name it after yourself if you want and be the mayor, chief of police and secretary of interior all at the same time."

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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